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Our favorite Christmas gifts from the 80's & 90's

Many of the items are video game related, and retro to boot.

CHRISTMAS 1986 - The Legend of Zelda (NES)

I'm not actually sure this was even a Christmas present, but it should have been so it makes the list. I was 3 years old, so I don't quite remember. My brother was 7 years old. It was an event when he attempted level 9 to slay Gannon. All I can remember is he was upset after a first unsuccessful attempt. After encouragement from our father (he did his best 'It's dangerous to go alone! Take this.' impression), he destroyed the evil doer and restored peace to Hyrule...or so we thought...until the Second Quest...and, uh, numerous sequels, prequels, etc.

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CHRISTMAS 1987 - Final Fantasy (NES) Strategy Guide

Yup, you read that right. The Final Fantasy Strategy Guide. Not the game, just the guide. One of the Steem owners got an unpleasant surprise when he opened his gift in 1987. There it was. The Final Fantasy Strategy Guide, but no game. Well, there has to be a story behind that, you say. You'd be right. All he wanted was Final Fantasy the game and it seemed that his father was going to give that as his main gift. What unfolds from there is a tragedy on par with a Shakespeare play.

Let's just say said owner was going to get less than favorable grades in school, tried to prevent the score card to be delivered in the mail, and ultimately was caught. The result is a nightmare teaching moment for a 1980's gamer. He was given the strategy guide as punishment. At least he was damn prepared for when he finally got the game a year or so later. He had plenty of time to reflect and read...this was the one exception of being on the Naughty list.

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CHRISTMAS 1992 - Supreme (comic) by Rob Liefeld & Sonic the Hedgehog 2

I'll be upfront...this is a terrible comic series. It seems like a rip off of Superman and I can't dispute that. What I did love is the cover of issue #1. I wouldn't care if any other of the issues of Supreme I own were destroyed in a flood, lit on fire, or were just downright lost, but I would never part ways with issue #1. It was the first time my mother put comics in my stocking and Supreme #1 was the first one I saw when I woke up that morning. When I look at the cover now, I remember that feeling and then I chuckle because of the gray hair and how aged he looks. That doesn't matter. The cover stirs up solid memories.

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Sonic is just classic. Unless you are a retro gamer, you may not remember that Sonic made his first appearance in a game for the Sega Master System, the predecessor to the Sega Genesis. Sonic's impact can still be felt today in newer games, comics, and a TV show. He was Sega's cash cow and focus of their 'blast processing' campaign aimed to rival the Super Nintendo. It was damn fun back then and it is damn fun still. I could just leave the image here and you'd understand why it is on the list...I leave it at that.

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CHRISTMAS 1993 - Personal Computer (486, 586, and beyond)

We were lucky. Our uncle owned a computer store in the 1990's and decided to hook up his nephews with the latest and greatest computer hardware and software. We were envied by kids in the neighborhood and at school for the tech were getting. We lived through the era of Wolfenstein 3D, faster computing every 18 months, Sound Blaster, and America Online. Oh, I remember the chat rooms and instant messenger. I couldn't wait to get from school, put on head phones to listen to 1990's rap, and chat away until bedtime. Computers just don't seem the same today with smart phones and tablets making information so readily available. I am still thankful we grew up during those days.

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VARIOUS OTHERS - TMNT & WWF Plushies, Gameboy, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Playstation, etc.

There are many other gifts that just won't fit in this blog. Some mentioned here were some gifts that were on the wish list or were received. It was a great time to be a kid. As you grow up, you become happier with giving gifts rather than receiving. I look forward to what Santa brings my daughter in years to come.

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